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2020-21 COVID-19 Grading Policy

Considering the challenges facing our community during the pandemic, the following academic policy has been revised for all undergraduate students. The grading policy revisions are applicable to courses taken in the fall of 2020 and spring of 2021 only. While students are not required to meet with their academic advisor to select S/U grade types for the fall 2020 term, it is important they fully understand the policy before making grading changes.

Revised S/U Allowances for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021:

In Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, students may elect S/U grading for up to two courses each semester. The pre-existing policy allowed for one S/U course each semester up to a total of 10 credit hours that may be contributed to satisfy one’s degree requirements. We are adding the option of designating a second class to be S/U in both the fall, 2020 and spring, 2021 semesters. These additional S/U hours will not count toward the existing maximum of 10 allowable S/U credits and may be used to satisfy the 120-129 credits required for all bachelor’s degrees. Otherwise, the same constraints apply to these S/U courses – the S/U option may not be used to satisfy the writing, foreign language, quantitative or formal reasoning, and laboratory components of the NTC Core Curriculum, nor may it be used to satisfy major or minor requirements. Finally, no letter grade will be recorded for a course designated as S/U, so it will not be possible to recover a letter grade at a later date.

For Fall 2020, you will not have to request permission from an advisor to take a course S/U, but you are responsible for understanding the limits on uses of courses graded S/U and the potential consequences of designating a course to be S/U. We encourage you to consult with your academic advisor if you have any questions.

FAQs

Do I need to meet with my academic advisor before changing a Fall 2020 course to S/U?
No, but it is important that you fully understand the policy before making changes to your academic record. This is not a decision that can be changed. It is final, so be certain you fully understand the ramifications of your decision. Once you click “submit” on the form, the grade mode will be updated and cannot be undone. If you are unsure you should reach out to your advisor before making the change.

I want to change one of my courses to S/U this fall. How do I do it?
You may make the change to S/U on a tab called, “S/U Grade Type Change”, on the schedule of classes. This option will be available on the schedule of classes on November 30, 2020. If the option is made available before November 30, 2020, students will be notified when it is available. The deadline to select an S/U grade type for fall 2020 courses is December 4th.

Can I wait to see what my final grade is before switching to S/U?
No. The deadline to change to S/U for fall is December 4th, which is before the due date for final grades.

I switched a course to S/U, but ended up getting a better grade than I expected. Can I switch back and have the letter grade appear on my transcript?
No. The S/U grade will appear on your transcript.

If I retake a course next year, will I be charged tuition for the course again?
Yes. Tuition is charged based on the number of credit hours attempted, not on credit hours earned. A course that is repeated is not discounted.

I took a course S/U last fall. Can I still choose that option for two classes this fall and two more in spring?
The S/U 10 credit hour limit still stands; however, one course in fall and one course in spring can be excluded from that count.

Can I select S/U for a course that’s a major requirement?
The “S/U Grade Type Change” form on the schedule of classes will allow you to select almost any course that you are registered for in the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 term with an S/U grade type; however, that course can no longer be used to fulfill the requirements for your major, so understanding the consequences of this decision is crucial. The same is true for courses that satisfy the writing, foreign language, quantitative or formal reasoning, and laboratory components of the NTC Core Curriculum. If you elect S/U grading any courses that fall into those categories, they will no longer fulfill those core curricular requirements.

I am using VA education benefits in the Spring 2020 semester. How would electing the S/U grading type impact me?
The Department of Veteran Affairs defines a non-punitive grade as a grade that does not count as earned credit and is not calculated into the grade point average. If a student elects the new S/U grading option and completes a course with a grade of U, this will be considered a non-punitive grade and must be reported to VA. You may be required to repay any funds received for this course.

The following is a summary of how your VA benefits would be impacted when/if certain grades are earned:

  • Grade
  • S
  • U
  • Counted in Earned Credits
  • Yes
  • No
  • Grade
  • S
  • U
  • Counted in GPA
  • No
  • No
  • Grade
  • S
  • U
  • VA Repayment Required
  • No
  • Yes
 

If you have questions about your specific circumstance, please contact the Education Call Center at: 1-888-442-4551 between 8 AM and 7 PM Eastern Time, Monday-Friday.

Is the S/U grading option available for athletes?
Yes, as an athlete, you must receive clearance from your athletics advisor before you can access the “S/U Grade Type Change” form on the Schedule of Classes. It is important that your athletics advisor assist you in the selection of which courses you should consider with this grading option and maintain your athletic eligibility. 

Who do I contact if I have further questions about the grading options for the Fall 2020 semester?
Please email registrar@tulane.edu with any questions regarding grading options for Fall 2020.